Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Omid Safi, Hussein Ibish, Sarah Eltantawi - all gone!

Three of the five member Executive Board of the PMUNA have resigned.

Bism Allah al-Rahman al-Rahim

August 24, 2005

To Whom It May Concern:

It is with heavy hearts, but out of a deep conviction that there is no other choice at this stage, that we -- Omid Safi, Hussein Ibish and Sarah Eltantawi, three of the four founding members (along with Ahmed Nassef) of the Progressive Muslim Union of North America (PMU) -- hereby tender our resignations from the Board of Directors of PMU.

We helped to form PMU in the hopes that it would develop into an umbrella organization representing a „big tent‰ for Muslims with a very wide variety of religious, political and social attitudes who are drawn together by a spirit of pluralism and compassion to develop and contribute a new voice to the conversation about Islam and Muslims in North America. Our intention was to create a space in which Muslims could pursue a multivalent critique of power, standing against injustice within Muslim societies, among Muslims in North America, and with regard to the foreign and domestic policies of the governments and societies in which we live. We wanted to be as vigorous in challenging injustices in the Islamic world, and the deeply-rooted racism and sexism that lurk within our own community, as we rightly are in condemning the abuses of U.S. foreign policy and the assault on civil liberties in the United States. We also wanted to create a forum for a respectful but critical
engagement with Islamic practices and classical and modern interpretations of Islamic doctrine, as well as how Islam has functions as a social text, especially in our own societies at the present time. We intended PMU to help to develop an independent, and spiritually and intellectually sophisticated, Islamic discourse that is distinctly North American, while remaining true to the essential teachings and values of Islam; one that responds to the challenges and context in which North American Muslims live, as opposed to discourses that are mainly derivative of ideas and agendas formed long ago and/or far away.

The hope was that these two missions would compliment each other, and serve to give a voice to a large section of the community hitherto underrepresented. In both cases, our intention was to help to enrich, broaden and deepen the conversation in the North American Muslim community, and to unleash the power of a set of ideas that have been largely dormant among us in recent years: the Islamic values of tolerance, compassion and equity ˆ that is to say, the spirit of justice that lies at the heart of Islam.

Unfortunately, PMU has not developed in the direction that we had envisioned and worked to promote. We readily accept our share of the responsibility for this, and do not seek to blame or second-guess any of our former colleagues. They are entitled to develop PMU in any direction that they see fit. However we have become convinced that PMU is not a forum that will allow us to successfully pursue the agenda we envisioned at its founding, and that this is not likely to change. We believe that the vision that we outlined in the PMU mission statement and that informed the founding of PMU remains vital and urgently needed, but has yet to find a vehicle for its effective expression. We remain committed to the values and goals of that mission statement, and we will continue to work to help develop and implement a progressive agenda for American Muslims.

We wish PMU all the best, offer it our support and encouragement, and hope that it will to grow into a vital and important organization that represents a significant constituency among North American Muslims.


Omid Safi

Hussein Ibish

Sarah Eltantawi


Anonymous said...

WHO exactly is "Public Debate"?

Anonymous said...

Hopefully all three guys will find a deep hole to go and bury yourselves in so that the Muslims will be rid of their evil - especially Omid Safi.

One word of advice to you three: keep an extra space for Naseef - because i hope he'll join you there.


DrMaxtor said...

Mission Accomplished. LoL

Shahed Amanullah said...

More PMU resignations in 3... 2... 1...

ajsuhail said...

Ha! Ha! HA!

I am walking around with a beatific smile on my face.

Safiyyah said...

They're destroying their own organization! How strange is that? It will be interesting to observe what direction these individuals take in the next few years or so.

Anonymous said...

Hmmm, let's see if I have this right....stay in PMU and you get attacked by others in PMU. Leave PMU and you get attacked for leaving PMU by others in PMU.

New banner for PMU:

Join us and you know who will be attacking you, other PMU members!

Disclaimer: Do not construe this as hinting that PMU attacks people physically, just personal character attacks. Attacks are via snide, nasty, rude, disrespectful comments. At no time have I heard of physical attacks.

Anonymous said...

Safiyyah - these people are plan out there in some crazy land that they made up for themselves: extremely delusional!

And yes, Anonymous - you got that right! - These people are all into attacking --- physical? Well, it may all be words - but from the way they "talk" - I think they are just one step away from being physically violent. No question about it, they are verbally extremely abusive -

On the PMU list they've actually used words like "crowbars" and "screwdrivers" to describe what they are doing to the Muslim community - they are pathethic and a very hateful bunch of people.

DrMaxtor said...

Crowbars and screw drivers huh....how do I get on this list ? Time for a little infiltration.

DrMaxtor said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
izzymo said...

Crowbars and screwdrivers? A little sado-masochism? Very scary. I really don't know how to feel. I just know that million of dollars and time went into their fitnah. I just this is the end but they are media saavy so they know how to come back fighting.

Serena said...

That's disappointing to hear. Why would they resign from a forum they themselves created? Why not stay in it and make SURE that the forum goes in the direction you'd envisioned?